There is no time like the present to boost your body’s immune system to make you less susceptible to viruses and bacteria infections. As we age, our immune response becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and getting sick more often. While some people stay healthier as they age, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases. There are some basic things we can do to stay healthy and boost our immune systems. We all know some of the basics like washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. But here are five other ways to quickly boost your immune system.
Quit Smoking and Moderate Alcohol Intake
Cigarette smoking and second hand smoke causes disease and death. Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start. Smoking can make you more susceptible to fatal diseases such as pneumonia, and significantly lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. If you are a smoker consider quitting. There are many research studies that show how an excess intake of alcohol can lower with the immune system and cause health complications. There are many ways alcohol impairs your immune system, making you more likely to get sick. First, it’s important to know that the microbes living in your intestines play an important role in fighting disease. When you drink a lot of alcohol, it has many negative effects on your digestive system. It damages the cells in your intestines, making it harder to absorb many nutrients.
Chronic stress plays havoc on the immune system. When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is greatly reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to illness and infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of your body’s ability to fight disease. Find ways to reduce stress in your life, either through meditation, massage, exercise, balance in your life activities or a combination of these methods.
Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise also naturally helps the body release pain fighting endorphins. Movement increases blood flow and gets the heart beating more rapidly to allow the distribution of essential fluids and compounds throughout the body. Movement and exercise helps to bring blood to and from infected areas in your body and helps to improve your overall health.
Get Proper Sleep
While we sleep, your immune system releases cytokines these are proteins essential to your immune system. Also, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get adequate sleep. This is why rest and sleeping are essential to help fight infectious diseases. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
Diet and Nutrition
A well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins is important to staying healthy. The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may actually be true, because the consumption of vitamins helps boost your immune system. Vitamins A, B6, C, D and E all help increase the strength of the immune system. Vitamin C is the biggest booster of all and lack of it can cause several diseases. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, Spinach and Strawberries. Some people dislike vegetables or do not eat enough of them, so supplements can help to make up for this. Do your research on finding the right supplement that may help with building immunity.
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